Lukta Qiatsuk



Lukta Qiatsuk (1928 - 2004) was a printmaker, graphic artist and sculptor from Kinngait (Cape Dorset), NU. A leading member of the West Baffin Eskimo Co-op, he created work for many of their print collections between 1959 and 1980. As the main printer for more than two hundred pieces, Qiatsuk was also involved in the production of a good number of the most esteemed and recognizable Cape Dorset images [1]. Inspired by the work of his father, Kiakshuk, Qiatsuk started art-making, soon finding success in his own right.

Working with James Houston on the "early experiments" of the Co-op in 1957-58, Qiatsuk was able to try his hand at nearly every medium. Through making stonecut prints and stencils of his father's many drawings, Qiatsuk found his own passion for depicting human figures, animals and birds, developing a particular interest in owls [2]. One of his earliest works in print, aptly named Owl (1959), skillfully depicts the ruffled feathers of the bird taking flight. Considered to be an exemplary piece of the Co-op's first collection, and of the diverse artistic influences brought to the studios by Houston, Qiatsuk's Owl was included in the major touring exhibition from the Canadian Museum of History, "Inuit Prints: Japanese Inspiration," in 2011-12 [3].

By way of receiving a grant through the Canada Council for the Arts, Qiatsuk was able to travel to Basel, Switzerland, to attend the opening of his family's exhibition held at the Canadian Arctic Gallery during May and June 2003. Included in his artist statement, Qiatsuk noted how he wished that this exposure to the European audience would help to open up a new market for his sons in the future [4]. Qiatsuk's work is still celebrated in exhibitions around the world today, his legacy carried on through the art of his children.

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Accomplishments:

1955-56: One of the nine Inuit craftsmen from Cape Dorset chosen to create and make the first mace of the Northwest Territories (NWT).
 


Citations/Footnotes

1. Derek Norton and Nigel Reading, Cape Dorset Sculpture, Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre (2005): 10.
2. SJIMA, "Lukta Qiatsuk," SJIMA: San Juan Islands Museum of Art, accessed May 24, 2019, https://sjima.org/lukta-qiatsuk/.
3. Norman Vorano, "Inuit Prints: Japanese Inspiration," Canadian Museum of History, accessed May 24, 2019, https://www.historymuseum.ca/cmc/exhibitions/cmc/inuitprints/inuitprints-e.html.
4. Canada Council for the Arts, "Grants to Nunavut Territory, 2002-2003," accessed May 24, 2019, http://publications.gc.ca/site/eng/9.813706/publication.html.